Jake Sigg 
Member since Jul 11, 2016


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Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

In the late 1980s, California State Parks did thorough studies regarding potential impacts of removing the Tasmanian blue gum plantations--note, not forests--on Angel Island. The studies were extensive and covered all aspects of natural history. Their findings were unsurprising: there were more plant and animal species and more of them in the areas where the tree plantations had not yet invaded.

The studies should not have been needed, as the point has been proven over and over that native wildlife need the plants that they are familiar with. We should cherish our native wildlife--they, like the plants, help to create a sense of place that is like no other place in the world. As for the danger of catastrophic fire, it beggars understanding that people invite a 1991 rerun.

Whenever anyone talks about the need of removing blue gum plantations they are accused of unworthy motives, of being a tree-hater. I love the blue gum and have written several articles on it; you can find some in the September, October, and December 2015 issues of San Francisco's Westside Observer (westsideobserver.com). I have urged San Francisco's park department to plant more of them in developed parks where they can be irrigated and where they can't displace wildlife habitat. Climate warming and droughts are taking a toll on these plantations, and it is only a matter of decades when most of them will die out from lack of adequate rainfall.

I am grateful to the Sierra Club for its intelligent stand and for the courage to not be intimidated by the whipped-up fervor of ill-informed people.

Jake Sigg
San Francisco

Posted by Jake Sigg on 07/11/2016 at 9:49 AM

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